Moroni 10: 3, 4, 5 – 7, 8 – 18, 19 – 21

Verse 3:  Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

  As I ponder the scriptures that record God’s interactions with men since the days of Adam, I marvel that God is patient and kind with mankind’s weaknesses and folly. He is willing to help us learn and grow in righteousness.  As I think of my own weaknesses and mistakes, I’m grateful that He is forgiving.  I’m grateful for Jesus Christ’s Atonement that allows our sins to be forgiven and forgotten.

Verse 4:  And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

            This promise of Moroni written in the Book of Mormon has blessed me throughout my life. I remember first reading the Book of Mormon when I was around eight years old because I wanted to know for myself that it was true.  After reading first and second Nephi, I gave up because it was too hard for me to understand.  I tried again a few years later, perhaps read further but didn’t finish.

            When I was sixteen years old, I read the Book of Mormon all the way through.  At first as I read, I would pray in my heart to know whether it was true. By the time I was halfway through the Book of Mormon I knew that I was reading the truth.  When I finished reading, I prayed with thanksgiving that I knew it was true but also asked for a further confirmation.  It came in the form of knowing by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon was God’s words to His prophets of Ancient America.  The Holy Ghost has given me that witness over and over again in the years since as I have read and studied the Book of Mormon.  I know it is truth.  Its truth has helped me for many decades through my life.

Verse 5:  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Verse 6:  And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that He is.

Verse 7:  And ye may know that He is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for He worketh by power according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.

            Truth can be known by individuals through the power of the Holy Ghost. Good and true things acknowledge Jesus Christ.  It is men and women’s faith that allows God’s power to work in our lives.

Verse 8: And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.

Verse 9:  For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;

Verse 10:  And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

Verse 11:  And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

Verse 12:  And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;

Verse 13:  And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;

Verse 14:  And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;

Verse 15:  And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;

Verse 16:  And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.

Verse 17:  And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as He will.

Verse 18:  And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.

           The gifts of God come unto mankind both as they seek them and for God’s purposes.  They are given that everyone will be benefited by the sharing of them.

Verse 19:  And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.

Verse 20:  Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.

Verse 21:  And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope.

            Moroni’s words that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and has given gifts to mankind since the beginning of the world through their faith is shown over and over again in the scriptures. We can learn more of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by studying the scriptures which are God’s word to man.

            As we change our lives to live what we learn, we are developing the characteristics that refine us, and we change from the natural man or woman to a disciple of Jesus Christ. There are many qualities we need to acquire, but hope, faith, and charity especially work together to prepare us to be saved in God’s kingdom.

            Let us choose God’s ways in our lives so that we can be instruments in His hands while we are on earth and prepare to return Home to Him.

Dani

Ether 7: 26 – 27; 8: 23 – 26

Verse 26: And because the people did repent of their iniquities and idolatries the Lord did spare them, and they began to prosper again in the land. And it came to pass that Shule begat sons and daughters in his old age.

Verse 27: And there were no more wars in the days of Shule; and he remembered the great things that the Lord had done for his fathers in bringing them across the great deep into the promised land; wherefore he did execute judgment in righteousness all his days.

            This is the prescription of safety for dwelling in the land of America. It is to remember the great things that the Lord has done for our fathers in bringing them to this promised land. It is to repent of our iniquities and idolatries and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to live in righteousness all of our days.

            If our society will do these things, we will prosper safely all of our days and accomplish the great work the Lord has for us to do in the world. We will be led by His Holy Spirit in what we do. The Book of Mormon teaches us these truths. It is one of the reasons it is needed in these last days. Other societies who have dwelt on this continent have perished because they didn’t follow this formula the Lord gave them.

            We are in the last days before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth. Will our nation be ready to receive Him? Will we, in gratitude and humility, worship the God of this land? Will we have accomplished the mission He gave to all who are brought to and dwell in this special land? Will we have listened and acted more on what the still small voice of the Spirit whispered to our hearts than to the loud, pushy voices of the media and promoters of chaos? Daily the choice is ours. At the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the consequences of our choices will tell for us and those we have influenced.

Chapter 8

Verse 23: Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

Verse 24: Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

Verse 25: For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

Verse 26: Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.

            Moroni outlines clearly the need of our day. He describes it as if he were here now. He describes it as he saw it by the power of God. He shows it with his words to us. The choice is up to us. We have let liars and murders gain power in our land. Will those who love right and justice stand up against those who are working destruction among us.

            Are we awake to our awful situation that the secret murderous combinations are in power? If we do not act for good, the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon our nation. Let those who love the Lord stand together in righteous purpose to strengthen each other and govern our communities, states, and nations with God’s work as our desire. Let us help each other. Let us turn to the Lord and plead for His deliverance. Let us stand in His name for good in our daily words and actions.

Dani

Ether 5: 4 – 6; 6: 9, 12, 17 – 18, 30

Chapter 5, Verse 4: And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also His word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record—and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day.

Verse 5: And if it so be that they repent and come unto the Father in the name of Jesus, they shall be received into the kingdom of God.

Verse 6: And now, if I have no authority for these things, judge ye; for ye shall know that I have authority when ye shall see me, and we shall stand before God at the last day. Amen.

            I’m grateful for the witnesses of truth which I have experienced. I’m grateful for the power which is in God’s word. The testimonies I have received of our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost bless my life every day. I’m grateful for my experiences of repentance and the joy I have received from my efforts to come unto Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ. These have changed me because of the renewed focus to my life to walk with the Savior toward our Eternal Home.

            I still make mistakes of judgment but not of sin. I make mistakes of omission but I continually try to repent and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to know how to act as an instrument in the hands of God. My purpose is to learn and do God’s will in my daily living and with the people whom I associate. It is still a learning process for me. It is a refining process which helps me become more like my Savior in service, kindness, obedience, and love.

Chapter 6:

Verse 9: And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.

Verse 12: And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of His tender mercies over them.

            It is right to praise God through song, prayer, and gratitude. He is the source of our blessings. He gives us so much. He has so much more to give us if we will just be open to receive. I’m grateful for the promised land He has given to me. He has blessed me with great blessings and tender mercies for which I praise His name in gratitude forever.

Verse 17: And they were taught to walk humbly before the Lord; and they were also taught from on high.

Verse 18: And it came to pass that they began to spread upon the face of the land, and to multiply and to till the earth; and they did wax strong in the land.

Verse 30: And it came to pass that Orihah did walk humbly before the Lord, and did remember how great things the Lord had done for his father, and also taught his people how great things the Lord had done for their fathers.

            To be humble before the Lord allows us to learn His ways and to live our lives in a manner which prepares us to live with Heavenly Father in the next life. It helps us develop the attitudes of charity, service, obedience, trust, unselfishness, work, gratitude, and appreciation for others. To teach children, especially by example, helps adults to practice these attributes and to repent when mistakes are made.

            To walk humbly helps us remember the Lord, the blessings given to our ancestors, and the blessings we receive at the hand of the Lord. This increases our gratitude for what Heavenly Father has done to and for us. It allows us to be led toward Him in our eternal progression.

            May we humbly seek the Lord’s way for our lives.

Dani

Mormon 9: 21 – 25, 26 – 28

Verse 21: Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Verse 22:  For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto His disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all His disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;

Verse 23: And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned;

Verse 24: And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;

Verse 25: And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.

            What marvelous promises are these for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Those who ask the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, doubting nothing, shall have it granted to him. Have you taken advantage of this promise? Have you received through your faith in Jesus Christ what you have asked of Heavenly Father in His name?

            I have had answers to my prayers, both large and small. I know God hears and cares about what matters to us. He has heard my pleas and given me so many things for which I have sought. I haven’t received everything that I have wanted, but I have received a majority of my requests. Sometimes the answers have come almost immediately; some answers have come within a week or a month. Some answers have come after years of prayers. Each has been a miracle to me. I have recognized God’s hand in the answer received. In His wisdom, He has given the answer that was best for me.

            These many experiences with prayer to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ have become a solid foundation to my faith in Jesus Christ and my testimony of God’s love and goodness. I know that God cares about each of us. I know that as we seek, we will find. I know that we can trust in His timing. I know that we can get through hard experiences with increased understanding and improvement by seeking God’s help.

            We change and grow through our sincere prayers to Heavenly Father. Our souls expand, our understanding increases, we learn to trust Him through our experiences of prayer in the name of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

            His words have been confirmed in my soul through my life’s experiences. He lives. He loves us. He wants us to come unto Him.

Verse 26: And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny His sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.

Verse 27:  O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before Him.

Verse 28: Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

         Moroni identifies that those who fight against and despise the Lord’s work will perish unless they change, or repent. The simple act of sincere prayer and desire to believe will help people begin to come unto the Lord. The way is laid out in the scriptures. Humble study of the scriptures will lead to the Lord. This will aid in understanding how to serve God. Following this path helps one learn that God is true and He does live.

            I have utilized this proccess in my life, and I know it works. Simple humble prayer and honest sincere study of the scriptures has helped me know what to say and how to act in God’s way. The changes these daily activities have brought about in my heart and mind have brought me closer to God. Continued seeking over decades has brought me many answers to prayers, tender mercies of the Lord, and knowledge of His goodness. I know God lives and loves us because I have followed His plan and it has brought me closer to Him. I’m not perfect but I have become more worthy than I was.

            We can each change if we come unto Jesus Christ with broken hearts and contrite spirits. He will make more of us than we can make of ourselves. I know this is true.

Dani

3 Nephi 27: 28 – 29, 30 – 31, 32 – 33

Verse 28: And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.

Verse 29: Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

            Sometimes being humble enough to ask for the right things is harder than the asking and knocking. I have found it helpful to ask to want the right things and the right outcome as well as to be the right person and the right influence. So many things get in the way of willingly giving our heart to God. I have found that it begins with desire. What I truly, sincerely desire motivates me.

            Sometimes I need to evaluate what my desires are because the emotions surfacing in my heart are camouflaging them. It is a wrestle to identify where I am and where my desires are. But seeking the Lord’s help and understanding after days of struggling brings clarity and peace. It brings the knowledge of what to do and how to do it His way. It brings joy. It opens my mind and heart to understanding of what to do and how to do it.

Verse 30: And now, behold, my joy is great, even unto fullness, because of you, and also this generation; yea, and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost.

Verse 31: Behold, I would that ye should understand; for I mean them who are now alive of this generation; and none of them are lost; and in them I have fulness of joy.

            I would that I could so act that the Savior, Heavenly Father, and all the holy angels rejoice because of my choices. Then I would know that I truly am an instrument in God’s hand in doing His will. The controversy and contention that exists in the world makes it harder to find the joy and peace of the Savior: road rage, mud slinging, jockeying for first, etc. overcrowd “Do unto others as you would be done by,” “love your enemy,” “pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you,” etc. Each individual chooses which way to live his or her life. How we treat one another shows our discipleship. We are the ones who choose our own words and actions. These show what is in our heart and mind.

            Do we participate in seeking those who are lost? Do we have fullness of joy in our relationships with family, friends, and strangers? It isn’t an easy perspective or attitude to develop and live by. It is possible when we desire the things of God and seek them day by day. Oh, the difference between peace and adversity. I prefer the peace.

Verse 32: But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.

Verse 33: And it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings He said unto His disciples: Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein, until the night cometh, wherein no man can work.

            We can let ourselves be led away captive by satan, the adversary of mankind. We can sell ourselves for those things that are of this earth by letting them be our focus, our motive, and our pursuits. Or, we can choose to enter the strait gate of Christlike behavior, building wholesome eternal relationships, enlarging our spiritual knowledge, and giving temporal service that leads us Home to Heavenly Father. We choose each day, and our words and actions show our choices.

            Sometimes, this choice for me has been a battle. Sometimes it still is. But my effort will continue to be to give my heart and my will to God. To seek to be an instrument in His hands to help and bless those around me, especially my family. I have much selfishness of the “natural man” to overcome. I’m seeing progress. I’m letting the Spirit of God change me. I love the peace that comes to my heart and mind when I submit to God’s will in my actions, my words, my heart, and my soul.

            May each seek to let our Savior be the guide for our daily choices. I know that as we do so, we will receive His peace in our hearts. He can calm the seas and He can calm us.

Dani

3 Nephi 21: 10, 11, 12, 14, 19 – 20, 22 – 25, 26 – 29

Verse 10: But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

            Those who seek to destroy the Lord’s servants may mar them but the Lord will heal them; however those who are instruments in the hands of the devil will find that he does not offer healing. Only Jesus Christ has the power to make things right.

Verse 11: Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.

            The Gentiles’ opportunity to join the House of Israel to be part of the Lord’s plan is given as a blessing of love. However, those Gentiles who reject it shall not receive the blessings of those who do accept the covenant of God.

Verse 12: And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

Verse 14:  Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;

Verse 19:  And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.

Verse 20:  For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel;

            Heavenly Father blesses His children. When people reject His word and His work and turn away from His ways, He cuts them off from His followers. This warning to the Gentiles applies to our day and includes this country particularly. Those who lead based on lyings, deceivings, envyings, strifes, priestcrafts, and whoredoms who do not repent will be separated from those who love righteousness. Heavenly Father will cut off all who will not repent and follow Jesus Christ.

Verse 22:  But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;

Verse 23:  And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.

Verse 24:  And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.

Verse 25:  And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.

            Heavenly Father wants us to follow Jesus Christ and be part of His eternal plan. We are each invited to repent and come unto Christ. As we do so we are blessed to be part of God’s covenant with Israel. We will receive His blessings.

            A wonderful promise given to those who choose to follow Jesus Christ in these latter days is participation in building the New Jerusalem in this land of America and to assist in the gathering work.

            This work is to prepare for Jesus Christ’s millennial reign. What a glorious opportunity to help prepare for the return of Jesus Christ as He comes in His glory to reign upon the earth for a thousand years. What joy to use our talents and abilities to help in this great endeavor.

Verse 26:  And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.

Verse 27:  Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.

Verse 28:  Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby His people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.

Verse 29:  And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.

            The Lord’s work in the last days is to gather Israel through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every people will have the opportunity to hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who accept it will be gathered to Him and to the lands He will give them. The Gathering will be done by the hand of the Lord. He will be in it as He was in the setting up of this country.

            We can be part of that gathering by sharing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Especially by sharing the Book of Mormon and the pureness of the Gospel it contains. I have been amazed at the journey this Testimony of Jesus Christ has led me on.

            My faith in Jesus Christ and my understanding of His ways has deepened and broadened as I have studied this second Testament of Jesus Christ. I am blessed daily by its truths. My heart and actions have been softened and changed. My motivation has become more pure. My love for others has increased and become more charitable. Repentance has become a balm.

            May our hearts be touched with understanding of the role we each have in the Lord’s plan of happiness. May we choose to help in preparing our part of earth for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dani

3 Nephi 21: 1, 2, 3 – 6, 7 – 9

Verse 1: And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion;

            God’s influence exists on earth. In spite of the crazy worldly fads today with values and people turning upside down, I have peace knowing that the Lord’s work is still being done and will be completed.

            The Lord’s Zion is a place of peace and righteousness. It is a place where He can dwell because it is clean and pure and will be inhabited by the clean and pure of mankind.

Verse 2: And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them;

            When the Gentiles are given the fullness of the Gospel and knowledge of the scattered remnant of the house of Israel, and after the Gentiles have scattered the remnant of Israel on the American continent, then it will be known that the sign has been given and the gathering is happening.

Verse 3: Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you;

Verse 4: For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which He hath covenanted with His people, O house of Israel;

Verse 5: Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity;

Verse 6: For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that He may show forth His power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel;

            One of the wonderful ways in which Heavenly Father showed His power unto the Gentiles was the making of America. That the colonists should beat the greatest power in the world of that time, Great Britain, in two wars thus establishing their separate nation, has been acknowledged over and over that it was the hand of God that made it happen.

            Heavenly Father blessed the Gentiles with the wonderful opportunity of seeing His work happen among them. He loves all of His children and wants them each to receive His full blessings. By allowing the work of the Gospel restoration to happen in their midst, He gave the Gentiles the opportunity to repent, come unto Christ, be baptized and to know the truth. Knowing the truth helps us to choose freedom.

            There is great emphasis here that the descendants of Lehi would have the truth through the Gentiles. It is repeated in each of the preceding verses. Therefore, there must be significance that the Lord wants understood. It is good to ask ourselves as we study, “What does the Lord want me to understand from this?” As we ask this question, we open our minds to receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost to teach us. It is wonderful to be taught of the Holy Ghost by having answers, thoughts, and ideas come into our minds while studying.

            There is so much to learn. It is good to ask of God what is most important for us to know as individuals. There are truths that will aid us in our own problems as we understand them. The scriptures are good to help us find these solutions. I’ve been blessed so much through my life as I’ve sought answers through studying the scriptures. It is amazing to be studying and to have ideas come into the mind and then realize that it is understanding that will help with a problem I’ve been facing at that time.

Verse 7: And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things—it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which He hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel.

Verse 8: And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

Verse 9: For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.

            Heavenly Father’s work is marvelous. There are people who don’t believe it. Lack of belief does not change truth. It does not stop Heavenly Father’s plans. However, lack of belief does stop individuals from progressing in His plan. The winning side of earth will be God’s side. Those who choose a different side will not accomplish what they could have if they had chosen to participate in Heavenly Father’s plan.

            The agency He gave us to choose for ourselves on earth means that some will not choose His ways. That is sad since His ways are the ways of happiness and salvation. But these gifts would not be appreciated unless worked for. Their value could not be full unless individual choice and sacrifice was made to obtain them.

            May we look and seek and knock that we may see, find, and receive God’s truth in our lives.

Dani

3 Nephi 14: 15 – 20, 21 – 23, 24 – 27

Verse 15: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Verse 16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Verse 17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Verse 18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Verse 19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Verse 20: Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.

            We will know people who seek to lead others by the way they act in private as well as public. What we put into our hearts by our thoughts and choices is what grows and eventually comes out in our words and actions. Good will produce good and evil will produce evil – this is a natural law as well as a spiritual one. We can know others inward motives by the outward products of their lives. While we all have weaknesses as well as strengths, there is a difference between sincerely trying to be better and the hypocrisy of pretending for outward appearances.

Verse 21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Verse 22: Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Verse 23: And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart me from, ye that work iniquity.

            These verses help me see that for us to know the Lord we must do the kinds of acts He did with the same type of love and motivation He had. I learned a few years ago that I must always be kind in my dealing with others because He was kind. This understanding has changed my choices when interacting with those who aren’t easy for me to be kind to. And in choosing to follow Jesus Christ in this way, I have changed; my love for others has increased, and I have become kinder to all people.

            Jesus came to do His Father’s work – to help everyone on their pathway Home to Heavenly Father. If we have any other motive, we cannot know the Savior in the way we need to to live in the kingdom of heaven after this life is over. Like King Lamoni’s father, I want to give away all my sins so that I can return Home to our Heavenly Father and stay there. It’s not always easy to do what I know is right but I’ll keep trying so that our Savior can say that I seek to know Him and He knows me when it is time to enter that heavenly kingdom.

Verse 24: Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will like him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock

Verse 25: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

Verse 26: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand

Verse 27: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

            Hearing and doing what Jesus teaches builds our lives upon a firm foundation that will safely get us through the storms of life even when storms beat upon us. We all have storms, or adversity, in our lives. Whether or not we survive them depends upon what we build our lives upon. True principles of belief and behavior becomes strength for us when the too hard or too easy times come. When we are committed in our hearts and actions to follow Jesus Christ in all situations, we will have the solid foundation that will keep us through unbelievable challenges.

            I’ve been amazed at what turning to the Savior and striving to hear and do what His teachings and commandments during the challenges I’ve faced has done for my faith in Him, my love for others, and my increased understanding and empathy and patience for my fellow travelers. I have experienced the solidness in building upon the Rock of our Redeemer.

            May we have willingness to listen and obey His loving voice.

Dani

3 Nephi 14: 1 – 5, 6, 7 – 11, 12, 13 – 14

Verse 1: And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words He turned again to the multitude, and did open His mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Verse 2: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Verse 3: And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Verse 4: Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Verse 5: Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

            After Jesus taught the twelve He called to serve the people, He again turned to the multitude and taught them in these five verses some amazing truths that help me see ways in which I need to repent (change). I’ve been trying but I see that the beams in my eyes are bigger than the motes others have in theirs.

            We are not to judge others because we cannot see clearly their motivations and circumstances. It is easy to excuse our own behavior because we know our intent and efforts. I think to love others as ourselves requires that we give them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they are also doing the best they can where they are.

Verse 6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest thy trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

            Our interactions with God are precious and, if shared, should be done so with those who will also hold them sacred. Actually, are interactions with other people are also precious and we need to be careful of our sacred experiences shared with others. In deed, we need to be honest and sincere and loyal in our relationships with other people.

Verse 7: Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Verse 8: For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Verse 9: Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?

Verse 10: Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

Verse 11: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?

            Again, these are powerful teachings Jesus is giving. He tells us that if we sincerely seek answers from God, we will receive them because God loves us perfectly – completely. I like the comparison of earthly parents to our Heavenly Father. As earthly parents we delight in giving our children what they want. Jesus tells us that Heavenly Father also wants to give us all our good desires. I have had wonderful experiences asking, seeking, and knocking and I know that Heavenly Father gives us what we seek. Wonderful experiences aren’t necessarily easy, but they help us learn how much we are loved by God.

            Asking, seeking, and knocking allows Him to do so as these show how sincerely we desire what we are asking for. When He gives us our desires, it is in the timing that He knows is best in the eternal scheme of things. We can trust that He hears and will answer when we are ready to hear and receive for our eternal growth.

Verse 12: Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.

            The law and the prophets: commandments and teachings are to help us see that we need to treat others with the same regard that we want others to use in the ways they treat us. This golden rule that strengthens and builds relationships between people is an eternal principle. It is a happy way to live. It changes how we feel and think toward others. It is worth striving to learn.

Verse 13: Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat;

Verse 14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

            Walking the path Home to Heavenly Father requires that we learn to live His way. These verses help us see that many prefer the easy path away from God than the narrow one that leads to Him. Going home to God takes conscious choice and action on our individual journeys.

            I’m grateful for Jesus Christ’s teaching which He gave both in the Old World as well as in the New World. The subtle differences in these sermons recorded in 3 Nephi help me see the difference in the translations of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I’m grateful that Joseph Smith’s revelations help us see the Savior Jesus Christ more clearly as He is.

            Jesus Christ loves each one of us. He lived and died so we can return Home to our Heavenly Father clean and pure, through our choices to follow Him.  As we learn of Him and strive to obey His commandments, we change. We learn to rely upon Him and His ways as we live our daily lives. We listen to His Spirit and gain understanding of our individual worth as well as where we can learn to do better in following Him. I’ve found this an amazing process in my journey through life. I’m grateful for His tender tutoring and the hard lessons I’ve learned and keep learning.   I’m grateful for His suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross of Calvary because it helps me know He understands my suffering in my life.

            May we each Come Unto Jesus and be healed, cleansed, and tutored by Him.

Dani

Helaman 14: 20 – 24, 25, 26 – 27, 28 – 31

Verse 20: But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of His death, behold, in that day that He shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that He shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that He shall rise again from the dead.

Verse 21: Yea, at the time that He shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;

Verse 22: Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.

Verse 23: And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

Verse 24: And many highways shall be broken up, and many cities shall become desolate.

            This destruction that would happen in America at the time of the Savior’s death, was tremendous. Often as I’ve driven in southern Utah and marveled at the beauty of that colorful desert, I have also seen the evidence of mountains raised up slanted where the underground layers are exposed. Massive force impacted that land at some point and created interesting landscape.   The heaven and earth gave a witness as a sign to the people of this land that their Creator had been rejected and killed.

Verse 25: And many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many.

           This sign is a wonder as it would show that death had been overcome. How joyful for those who had lost loved ones for them to see them at this time when the earth was in an unpredictable state.

Verse 26: And behold, thus hath the angel spoken unto me; for he said unto me that there should be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours.

Verse 27: And he said unto me that while the thunder and the lightning lasted, and the tempest, that these things should be, and that darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days.

            Even the earth, at the death of the Son of God, moaned over the wickedness of man who would kill their Creator. The systems of the physical world recognize the hand of God so much more easily than mankind does. We, who have the ability to think and act according to our wills, are so often behind in obedience to our Creator than His creations that follow His directions instinctively.

Verse 28: And the angel said unto me that many shall see greater things than these, to the intent that they might believe that these signs and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men—

Verse 29:  And this to the intent that whosoever will believe might be saved, and that whosoever will not believe, a righteous judgment might come upon them; and also if they are condemned they bring upon themselves their own condemnation.

Verse 30: And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and He hath made you free.

Verse 31: He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and He hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.

            What great extent was made with the signs in heaven and earth to help people believe in Jesus Christ. How much Heavenly Father wants us to come Home to Him. We will each be judged. Only through accepting and using the Atonement of Jesus Christ to repent and do good will that judgment result in a positive outcome.

            We are free. God made us free. We act for ourselves. God gave us knowledge. We know good from evil. We choose life or death. Our actions save or condemn us. What we do on earth will be restored to us. Good or evil, our choices will be our judgment.

            It is with love that God gave mankind freedom and knowledge. Because of His love for us, He wants us to come Home to Him to live with Him forever. He lets us choose whether or not we will. He let us choose whether or not we will love Him and each other.

            Oh, let us show our love for Him by our choices.

Dani